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Old 09-04-2001, 01:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: South of Pittsburgh, PA
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I have a question about Round-up, Spectracide, etc. grass & weed killers. I use these in and around my customerís beds to keep weeds down in the mulch. Iím always careful and try to pinpoint the weeds with no overspray. Iíve never had a problem until recently one of my customers started loosing some older well established shrubs in beds that I treat. Now these were big shrubs (about 4 feet dia.) and I know I didn't overspray them, however I did spray some weeds around and beneath them. Is there a possibility I could have killed them? They say that stuff neutralizes in the soil but now Iím wondering. If you get some spray on the woody crown of a shrub is that enough to kill the plant or does that stuff only work through the leaves?

Bís Lawn Service
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Old 09-04-2001, 03:20 PM
awm awm is offline
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to be honest i cant give you a sure answer except to say if there was leach into the root system ,ive never seen roundup do this . i cant say that about spectricide. i use it but have wondered at times if it was as safe as roundup.nuff said
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Old 09-04-2001, 03:34 PM
UrbanEarth UrbanEarth is offline
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Roundup must contact the leaves or roots to be absorbed. Since it does netralize with soil contact, I do not see this as being an issue. How was the shrub affected? Was the entire shrub affected all at once, or were small areas affected first? If you hit the target with some overspray, the results should be small affected areas, not the whole plant. I would also say that from the size of the shrubs, you would have to deliberately spray them (and possibly with repeat applications) to kill them.
That was the Roundup, Spectracide I have never used, so can't say much about that.

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Old 09-04-2001, 03:51 PM
Scraper Scraper is offline
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Brian...Where in PA are you? It could be possible that they succumbed to the high heat and dry weather we've had in this area. Could also be from overwatering. Too many variables to give you a definite answer except I don't think your roundup use could've caused this damage unless you drenched the entire shrub.
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Old 09-04-2001, 04:32 PM
plymouthvaliant73 plymouthvaliant73 is offline
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Re: Round-up

Do not apply Spectracide Total Vegetation Killer in these areas:
-Closer than twice the distance of the drip line from the trunk of trees or plants.
-On slopes because runoff or movement through the soil can damage nearby plantings down the slope.
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Old 09-04-2001, 06:54 PM
wallzwallz wallzwallz is offline
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I think we have an answer, i have never used spectricide, good thing too
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Old 09-04-2001, 07:44 PM
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Fantasy Lawns Fantasy Lawns is offline
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Spectracide (Diquat Dibromide) interferes with cell respiration, the process by which plants take in oxygen, thatís why it works faster than Round Up Ö also contains small amounts of a toxic chemical (EDB), like any chemical one should know what they are using BEFORE using it Ö.make sure to wear Eye Protection Ö. this stuff is not good for the eyes Ö..effect comes days after even if you splash clean Öbut we donít use this stuff as I find Round Up more effective in the long run and when looking for quick kill we use Scythe

Round Up (Glyphosate) stops the production of some enzymes, which in turn prevents the plant from producing an amino acid essential for plant growth (thatís why it take so long) is only effective when it comes into contact with the green, growing parts of plants, also it will not move thru the soil to enter other non-target plants by the root system. (it wonít leech)

In either case, at least in Florida one needs a limited spray license to spray ANY Herbicide

So I'd have to agree with other possible casuses .... much like Scraper suggested

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Old 09-04-2001, 08:41 PM
John DiMartino John DiMartino is offline
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I use roundup a lot,I dont think it would do that,I have never had it move thru soil,and like others said,its supposed to break down ,and totally biodegrades after a short time.
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Old 09-04-2001, 10:25 PM
plymouthvaliant73 plymouthvaliant73 is offline
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grass and weed killer

I may have been too hasty in my reply, Brian did say grass and weed killer not total vegetation killer and they are different products.

That said, I have used RoundUp very carefully on customer's properties primarily for driveways and curbs but somewhat aggressively on my own property around shrubs and sometimes had some damage. There can be less than visible mist and vapor even when you think you are being careful. RoundUp can be absorbed through thin young green bark or breaks in the bark but probably not through older coarse bark.

The grass and weedkillers should not have affected the shrubs through the soil.
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Old 09-05-2001, 12:09 AM
Ron Persaud Ron Persaud is offline
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Roundup etc.

Roundup will not be taken up thru the soil; it has to contact a green part of the plant. Early symptoms of its action is a yellowing out in the leaf starting at the leaf base and moving out. I usually carry clippers to snip off any part of the desirable plant that gets sprayed. I also use tracker to show me where I have sprayed.
Diquat is a dessicant which dries out the moisture of that part where it touches. Damage from Diquat will not spread or translocate from one part to the other.
The unknown product is the Spectracide compound. Spectracide is a brand name for many turf care products and if the one that was used for weed control in the ornamental bed had 2.4D, then damage to these plants can be expected. 2.4D causes distorted growth and many buds to form where there should be only one. So look closely at the label. If you can rule out the weedkiller then it will free you up to look for other causes like insects and fungi.
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